More than 30 million Americans in the South faced theafter several deadly tornadoes hit the region on Thursday. They sent sparks and debris across northeastern Alabama.
A major tornado hit Coweta County in the Atlanta metropolis around midnight on Friday, setting off a tornado emergency for the city of Newnan and surrounding areas. No deaths were reported.
At least five people were killed in storms on Thursday in Calhoun County, Alabama, northeast of Birmingham. There were also reports of people trapped in flattened houses.
Much of Alabama was in a state of emergency when a major tornado left a trail of destruction in an area 50 miles (50 km) from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham earlier Thursday. Tornado and flash flood warnings have been posted in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia.
Powerful winds uprooted trees and threw them on roofs. Some of the worst damage happened at the Eagle Point subdivision in Shelby County, Alabama. Ripped roofs revealed the insides of bedrooms, and drone footage showed homeowners sifting through debris.
“It was scary,” said homeowner Carol Willis. “The sound was incredible.”
Willis’s garage was damaged, but her house was largely spared. She described the terrifying moments when the tornado swept through her community.
“I was standing in this bedroom window, I looked out and it was getting dark. I said, well, I better get out of this room. I had a metal trash can. I said, well, let me run to my pantry. I put the trash can over my head, went in, I didn’t stay more than two minutes. I came out and saw all this. I couldn’t believe it, it was so fast, “she said.
The town of Pelham was also hit hard. Just 20 miles south of Birmingham, at least 14,000 people in the area have no power.
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